Stella Serves Second Helpings Zoe’s Cue:  SECOND



Stella popped a pan of enchiladas in the oven while waiting for Frank to return from the airport with his sister, Nan, and her husband Tom; this was their second visit, and Stella was praying they’d decide to relocate.

Such an immense transition was neither simple nor inexpensive for a couple on the cusp of retirement; but Stella thought she and Frank were a convincing example that, with a little faith, the second half of adulthood could be an adventure.

As the kitchen filled with flavorful fragrance, the door opened on Nan’s laughter—a lilting above the men’s voices—and Nan and Stella rushed into each other’s embrace.

Over dinner, Nan exclaimed about the larger size of Stella’s new dining table—which led to a spirited, dramatic recital of the “famous furniture fiasco’s” fabulous finale.

Tom noted, “You missed your calling, Stella—Nan told me you’re writing stories, but you could pursue a second career in theater.”

“Careful, Tom,” Frank affected sternness:  “when Matt Dillon was filming a movie in town last year, suddenly my dear wife ran out of all grocery staples, had to shop at the market everyday—the one right across from Matt’s hotel”; amid his family’s bursting guffaws, he added, “I feared I’d lost her to Hollywood’s klieg lights and that slick weasel…sorry…younger stud.”



© Stella Carousel, 2017 ~ All rights reserved.

Images ~ Pixabay

It’s Always (Sink or) Something…Frank & Stella

unnamed-11-e1462409384457  Zoe’s Cue:  SINK


Stella had shown a trooper’s spirit, serving Frank a lovely lasagna dinner on the lanai furniture they’d moved inside (due to the resulting fiasco when the old dining set was put in storage while expecting ‘new’…which was delayed-damaged-order cancelled); but her muted longing for proper table and chairs was unabated.

Oh, she’d received his 18-stem armful of Picasso roses and $5 Hallmark Valentine with sweet-smiling gratitude, kisses—but whenever she passed through the empty dining area he’d dubbed the “dance floor”, she sighed, turning taciturn…and a too-quiet-Stella was rarely a good thing.

“I know what—let’s go for a drive!” Frank said with extravagant enthusiasm; “maybe we’ll happen on an amazing local site—an extraordinary ‘something’ we’ve overlooked, since moving here.”

Stella’s face—an e’er-changing canvas (and domestic barometer)—moved from an expression of worry that he’d spiked a tropical brain fever, to one of more hazy, benign suspicion; finally she shrugged acquiescence, and gathered her jacket and handbag.

The furniture store windows shouted in fluorescent paint, “Store-Wide SALE—WE Even PAY the Sales TAX!”, as Frank grinned at Stella—who took a mere 14.5 minutes to select a large rectangular dining table suitable for a family of 8…and barely stifled a squeal, on learning it would be delivered that evening.

At home, she chirp-chattered about the beauty and size of the heavy table—its burnished brown surface, ebony legs; the matching well-constructed chairs and 18″ center leaf (heart, be still!)—and punctuated each repeated detail with cheery chorus:  “it’s a steal of a deal, Hon!”…..until Frank interrupted to announce the kitchen’s slow-draining sink had completely backed up, and suggested she call the maintenance-super, “Now”.

© Stella Carousel, 2017 ~ All rights reserved.


Image ~ Underhill’s Furniture

Friday Faith ~ Guest, Paul Lenzi

This week, for Friday Faith, I’m pleased and honored to once again feature Paul Lenzi—poet extraordinaire, and a man of deep and tested faith.  Click the link to comment on his blog.  Thanks, Paul—may God richly bless you ♥Stella, 2017

Leap of Faith

small fluid dynamics

the barely perceptible

nourishing nuances

gently enmeshed in

the ebb and the flow

within delicate tissues

an aqueous breathing

of crystallin lenses

miraculous organs

enlighten the brain

taking into one’s ken

form and function

of all that exists

in the visible world

concrete insights

admitting of knowledge

and yet despite all

that is seen remain

deeper realities ever

invisible mysteries

vital insensible truths

that may only be reached

by one daring enough

to suspend the mechanics

of cognitive vision

shirk safety and

step from the edge

of that rational ledge

direct into the

ungrounded air

of a brave

leap of faith

A Loaf of Bread…and Thou* ~ Frank & Stella  Zoe’s Cue:  BREAD



Recovered from her ‘furniture pique’—with a Plan B for future purchases on the figurative table for further discussion—Stella moved the lanai’s casual dining set inside, with Frank’s help.

As he folded the TV trays and shoved them to the back of the hall closet, he assured her it wasn’t the table which made a great dining experience; laying it on extra sweet, he continued—“it’s the meal, and your superior cooking, Love”.

“Oh, stop buttering me up, you smoothie—the lasagna is practically in the oven; but speaking of butter, we need a loaf of Italian bread…do you think you—” ; “I’m on it”, he said agreeably, “anything else?”

Putting index finger to chin, she pondered—“maybe dessert…fresh fruit—pick out a nice pineapple”.

When Frank returned, the kitchen was redolent with baked lasagna and he hurried to prepare the bread; over his shoulder, he enthused about the Pineapple Gelato he’d discovered (sparing him the task of cutting the spiny tropical fruit).

Seated at the wrought iron and glass lanai table, Frank toasted Stella with a crusty slice of garlic bread:  “Love, if bread is the staff of life, you are my compagnon**—ever nourishing my heart and soul”.

italian-1575514_640© Stella Carousel, 2017 ~ All rights reserved.

Image ~ Pixabay


*A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou. – Omar Khayyam


From Middle English companion, from Old French compaignon(companion) (modern French compagnon), from Late Latin compāniōn- (nominative singular compāniō, whence French copain), from com- +‎ pānis (literally, with + bread)…

Bread has a social and emotional significance beyond its importance as nourishment. It plays essential roles in religious rituals and secular culture. Its prominence in daily life is reflected in language, where it appears in proverbs, colloquial expressions (“He stole the bread from my mouth”), in prayer (“Give us this day our daily bread”) and in the etymology of words, such as “companion” (from Latin com “with” + panis “bread”).